As a kid I’d always be asking, “Mom, what’s for dinner tonight?” Certain answers made me super excited... Such as one top-ranking response, “Grilled steak!” Not only delicious but it came with so much more!
This was a special event beginning with Dad’s ritualistic firing up of the back yard hibachi; gathering little sticks (my job), crumpling newspaper balls, hauling out the heavy bag of coals… all leading up to those first huge flames – stand back! Then a studied moderation of coals involving intermittent blowing through the side openings of the hibachi. It was truly an honor to be part of the whole experience.
Seconds before Dad was ready to grill I’d dash around the house through the side door and up the stairs. Mom would hand me the big plate of meat & giant grilling tongs and I’d carefully yet efficiently make my way back to Dad’s grill site. Moments later delicious aromas were wafting through the air, travelling down the street to mingle with smells of neighboring barbecues as we hurriedly finished setting up the patio table with the rest of our dinner. Onto the bandana patterned oilcloth went salads on hand-made platters, drinks in pretty garden glasses, napkin-wrapped silverware bundles... (and off to the side, a bag of marshmallows for roasting following after-dinner frisbee and croquet!)
So once again, to those beautiful summer nights of yesterday and today... just as delicious and always filled with love! It’s three easy recipes. One fabulous meal!
Caesar-style Tuscan Kale Slaw
Crispiest Roast Potatoes
Grilled, Dry-aged Rib Eye
The flavors of these dishes compliment each other perfectly. Thin ribbons of Caesar-style Tuscan Kale Slaw (try it- it’s seriously amaze!) cut the richness of the juicy, grilled Rib Eye while Crisp Roast Potatoes (dipped in catsup of course) round everything out. I’m telling you, this meal is over the top delish. Expect lots of silence and record-time empty plates :-)
Caesar-style Tuscan Kale Slaw
Caesar-style Tuscan Kale Slaw (Serves 4-6)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 8 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained (or substitute anchovy paste)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- 16 ounces Tuscan kale or other kale, center stalks removed, thinly sliced crosswise (about 8 cups)
(Tuscan kale is also called cavolo nero, black kale or dinosaur kale. It has long, narrow, bumpy dark-green leaves.)
- Combine the first 4 ingredients in a blender; purée until smooth. Add the oil slowly to the mixture, pureeing to make a creamy dressing. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.
- Separate egg white from yolk. Place egg white in a coarse-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Press egg white through strainer with the back of a spoon; scrape egg white from bottom of strainer. Repeat with egg yolk, using a clean strainer and bowl.
- Toss kale and dressing in a large bowl to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and sieved eggs. Allow to marinate 10 minutes and serve.
Gardner Jim's freshly harvested Potatoes
Crispy Roast Potatoes (Serves 4)
- 2 pounds fingerling or new potatoes, halved (quartered if larger)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- generous sprinkling dried garlic (it doesn’t burn)
- 3 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Toss the potatoes on a baking sheet with the oils, garlic and rosemary until well coated. Spread potatoes out into an even layer.
- Roast in the oven for at least an hour, or until tender, browned and crisp; fliping every 10-15 minutes with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning.
- Transfer potatoes to a serving dish, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper and serve.
Gardner Jim's freshly harvested potatoes roasting in the oven
Organic, Dry-aged Rib Eye
Grilled Dry-aged Rib Eye
- 1 1/2"-2" bone-in rib eye steak (organic dry-aged, if possible)
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon fresh, coarsely ground black pepper
- Place steak on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and pat dry with paper towels. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt per side. Refrigerate uncovered for up to 3 hours. Remove steak from fridge 1 hour before grilling to bring to room temperature. Again, pat dry with paper towels. Season again with 1/2 tsp. salt. Pat on 1/2 tsp. pepper per side.
- Build a two-zone fire in a charcoal grill with direct heat (medium-high coals) (can hold hand 2 inches away for 2 sec.) and indirect heat (medium-low coals) by building the coals on a 45 degree slant.
- Sear steak over direct heat, flipping once, until nicely charred, 3-4 minutes per side (If a flare-up occurs, use tongs to gently slide the steak to a cooler part of the grill.)
- Move steak to indirect heat and continue grilling, flipping once, 2-3 minutes per side. Using tongs, lift steak and sear both edges (the bone side and the fat-cap side) for 1-2 minutes per side to render out some of the fat. (Don’t skip this step it’s worth it!) Transfer steak to a carving board to let rest for 10 minutes.